Representatives of over 20 GCCA+ projects in the African region converged in Kigali, Rwanda, for the GCCA+ Africa Regional Conference (15-18 October 2019). The conference brought together the Africa-based GCCA+ community of practice to showcase their projects, share experiences and learning, and to build networks amplifying future efforts.
GCCA+ projects were able to share their results in a “Market Place” where participants could share successes, challenges and discuss impacts in the field by walking from one stall to another. Eye-catching handmade leather products from ECOBOMA and EcoACT projects, including footballs and high fashion handbags, were integral to Tanzania being voted the ‘Best Market stall”. “The communities have already adapted to activities that increase the resilience of climate change adaptation. They are now making leather goods as alternative sources of income” said Francis B.Njau, from the GCCA+ Tanzania EcoACT project. The items are made mainly by women and youth groups benefitting from the creation of a leather factory near Tanzania’s capital, Dodoma in Idifu village.
The increasing importance of awareness in the fight against climate change was recognized by the “GCCA+ Communication Award” that went to GCCA+ Comoros for awareness raising on climate change through seven short films and a comic strip featuring a typical Comorian family. “The videos are part of a wider publicity campaign using radio, the internet and local newspapers,” explained Mohammed Ali Mlazahane, GCCA+ Project Director for Comoros. “We wanted to attract the attention of the entire population. We wanted to get people to link their everyday actions with climate change. A lot of them don’t really understand climate change and how it relates to how they live day to day.”
Strong engagement with the Government of Rwanda was key to success of a conference hosting more than 100 project managers, European Delegation focal points and representatives from international, regional and national institutions and organisations, civil society, the GCCA+ Support Facility, and conference partner International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Rwanda Minister for Environment the Hon. Dr Vincent Biruta officially opened the conference with a speech that provided practical examples of climate-smart development in Africa – reduced dependence upon biomass for cooking, border to border landscape restoration.
Across the two and a half days of issues-based presentations, panels and group discussions, the participants considered eco-based adaptation approaches to climate change, challenges and successes implementing nationally determined contributions, how the Covenant of Mayors and other local initiatives are spurring implementation on the ground, and challenges accessing climate finance.
On the final day nearly 70 participants travelled 50 km outside of the capital to meet local communities in the Rulindo district who are benefiting from government organised programs to parcel land and encourage cooperative approaches to agriculture and land management, planting planted 600 eucalyptus trees in two locations, to help avoid landslides and soil erosion.
- Conference Website
- Comoros Story
- Tanzania Story
- Video GCCA+ Africa Regional Conference - Opening
- Video GCCA+ Africa Regional Conference - Market Place